Doctor blasts DHB in resignation letter

Last updated 19:51 18/07/2013

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An Auckland doctor has accused his District Health Board of failing to support frontline healthcare in a scathing resignation letter.

Jonathan Simon, a GP, resigned in protest from his Waitemata DHB role as west Auckland clinical director this month. He had been in the job less than two years.

In his letter, Simon says the board was not supporting primary care or clinical leadership initiatives, and therefore he had no confidence in them.

"WDHB has never connected with general practice, has never understood how general practice and its relationships work," he said.

"It is difficult to imagine a DHB with such negative feelings towards general practice wanting an integration process between equals in an alliance relationship.

"The attitudes displayed would more readily reflect an organisation that has little respect for general practice and one that is more likely to seek to control general practice."

A Waitemata District Health Board spokesman said the issue was an employment matter and it would be inappropriate to comment.

Simon outlined a long list of what he felt was wrong with the board, including stalled funding proposals, meetings that went nowhere, a lack of vision and leadership and a lack of authority, policy and budget for an integrated health sector.

"Without a vision it was impossible to communicate a clear message to the community, practices, PHOs, allied providers, and hospital providers," Simon said.

An example of the lack of support was a recent opening of an Integrated Family Health Centre in Waitemata, which the prime minister attended. Neither the chair or deputy from the WDHB were present, he said.

The new Auckland District Health Board chief executive was yet to have one face-to-face meeting with the clinical director for primary care for the districts, Simon added.

He had enjoyed working with the DHB employees in the primary care team. They were not the issue.

"They are a fine orchestra that has neither conductor nor musical score."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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